May 21, 2007
Gift, The Howard Family

Gift, The Howard Family

From the Newseum Vault: Spreading the News

News wants to travel fast.

To speed the flow of news, journalist Roy W. Howard helped set up news bureaus around the world from 1912 to 1952.

Howard, who until 1920 was general manager of United Press Associations, sailed to Europe many times to open up United Press offices in as many countries as the news service could afford. A key motivation was to match or beat its rival, the Associated Press. In 1958, United Press merged with the International News Service to become United Press International.

As head of Scripps–Howard newspapers from 1922 to 1952, Howard oversaw his network of news bureaus around the globe. His passport shows he sailed from New York in 1929, visiting the British Isles, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Holland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. He later visited news bureaus throughout Asia and met international figures such as Britain’s Lord Beaverbrook, Madame Chiang Kai–shek of China and Emperor Hirohito of Japan.

Howard carried an elegant black beaver top hat, fitted into a fancy leather case. Stickers from the prestigious hotels where he stayed and the cruise ships he patronized adorn the exterior of the case.

The hat and its case, along with Howard's passport, were given to the Newseum courtesy of the Howard Family, by his granddaughter, Pam Howard, a journalist living in New York City.

In an era when foreign news bureaus are closing due to financial pressures, these artifacts open a window on a time when news organizations raced against each other to cover the globe.

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